Sante Publique France has said that there has been what it called a "worrying trend" in coronavirus indicators and that there is a high risk of "resumption of the epedemic". In its weekly update published today the organization said that after four consecutive weeks of strong decline, the indicators are evolving in a much less favorable manner and remain at a high level. As in the previous week, more than 10,000 new cases of COVID-19 were confirmed, on average, every day in France. It said that this development requires a "redoubling of vigilance" to avoid a resumption of the epidemic in the coming weeks. New hospitalizations and intensive care admissions experienced "a moderate decrease", falling by 9% and 16% respectively, compared to the previous week. It added that complying with preventive measures is essential in the face of an increased risk of the epidemic rebounding.
The French Council of State has rejected a request by local government and ski lift operators to reopen ski resorts. Public access to ski lifts is currently prohibited except for professionals and children who are members of certain ski clubs. In its judgement, the Council of State said that although there are significant economic effects from the ban, the levels of Covid-19 remain high which creates strong pressure on the health system, particularly in ski resort areas. The Council also found that the measures do not interfere with personal freedoms, in particular those relating to operating a business.
One person has died in an fire in Draguignan. Firefighters were called to the blaze late last night at an apartment which reports say was home to a family of four people. Three were unharmed but the life of one of the occupants couldn't be saved.
A police commissioner has been charged in connection with the demonstration in Nice last year in which demonstrator Genevieve Legay was injured. The prosecutor in Lyon said that the commissioner had been charged with complicity, by order or instruction, in willful violence by a person holding public authority. The 73 year old activist was seriously injured when police intervened in the unauthorised yellow vest demonstration in the Place Garibaldi in March last year.
His Serene Highness Prince Albert II of Monaco has received an award at a ceremony in Nice today. The Prince was presented with the Aigle d’Or in recognition of the close and long-standing links between the Grimaldi family and many communes in the Alpes-Maritimes. The mayor of Nice, Christian Estrosi, who also received an award at the ceremony, said that it was also an opportunity to salute the strong partnership between the Principality of Monaco and the Nice Cote d'Azur Metropole.
Five people have been arrested after an unauthorised fireworks display in Toulon. Fireworks were set off in the old town in the early hours of yesterday morning in contravention of a prefectoral decree.
The Agglomeration Cannes Lerins is launching a large hydrogen production unit for Cannes and inter-municipal vehicles. The aim is to allow, in the long term, the circulation of zero carbon urban transport. The agglomeration plans to create a large-scale hydrogen production station with a capacity of around 1.7 tonnes of hydrogen per day and to purchase 72 Palm Bus buses by 2032, all running on hydrogen.
25 people have been arrested in a major police operation in connection with the theft of high value wines. The arrests were made earlier this week in the Gironde, Dordogne and Loire after seveal thefts of grand cru wines, mostly from warehouses in the Bordeaux area. According to local reports, 900 bottles of high quality wine and several hundred thousand euros in cash were recovered in the raids.
Heathrow airport has announced that Terminal 4 will remain closed until the end of 2021. The airport said today that the decision had been taken based on current forecasts and continued decline in passengers. Passenger numbers at Heathrow fell by 88% in November, as travel restrictions and a second lockdown took their toll. It said that cargo volumes remain significantly below last year.
The Bank of England has published its latest Financial Stability Report. The Bank said that there are a number of risks ahead, including further disruption from Covid and the transition to new trading arrangements between the UK and the EU but that UK banks are "strong enough to support households and businesses through this difficult period". It said that as regards the relationship between the UK and the EU, over the past four years measures have been put in place to limit disruption to financial services at the end of the transition period.
Carmaker Ferrari has announced that its CEO Louis Camilleri has decided to retire with immediate effect for personal reasons. Ferrari’s Executive Chairman John Elkann will act as interim CEO while the Ferrari Board of Directors identify his replacement.
Motorsports... Max Verstappen was fastest in first practice for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix this morning, with Valtteri Bottas in second and Renault driver Esteban Ocon in third. Lewis Hamilton, who is back after missing the last Grand Prix in Bahrain with coronavirus, was in fifth place. In this afternoon's second practice, Valtteri Bottas was first, with Lewis Hamilton second and Max Verstappen in third.
Cricket... England have recalled Moeen Ali and Jonny Bairstow for the two Tests in Sri Lanka next month. Essex player Dan Lawrence receives his first cap. Ben Stokes and Jofra Archer haven't been included in the squad but will return for the Test series in India starting in February.
Football.... In the English Premiership, Leeds United play West Ham tonight. On Saturday, Wolves play Aston Villa. Newcastle face West Brom. Manchester United play Manchester City and Everton play Chelsea. On Sunday, Southampton play Sheffield United. Crystal Palace take on Spurs. Fulham play Liverpool. Arsenal host Burnley and Leicester play Brighton.